Race 8 – $5,000,000 Dubai Sheema Classic (G1), presented by Longines, 2,410 metres, Turf
#8 GENTILDONNA has been a beast. The winner of the 2012 Japan Cup (G1) against Orfevre, her will to win as seen in that race is dynamic. While she doesn’t win by much, she wins, and bulls her way through to get the prize. We were very impressed with her appearance on her first day out of quarantine when she buzzed around the all-weather at Meydan and did not turn a hair. She races with a degree of tactical prominence, but it is possible she is more midfield with the solid pace presence in this race, coming from the likes of #2 ROYAL DIAMOND and #3 GIROLAMO.
#6 ST NICHOLAS ABBEY did not get the best of trips in here last year and was coming late, but is the bloom still on the rose? To get second, we don’t think he needs to do much more than run the same race as last year, and if the top pick falters ever so slightly, he could.
#11 AWAIT THE DAWN holds the course record over ten furlongs from his earlier Carnival win this season and jockey Pat Cosgrave kept him going towards the front in a race with no true pace. He’s been progressive this season, and his second in that last race should not be held against him. He just doesn’t seem near good enough to beat the Japan Cup winner.
#5 PRINCE BISHOP has been hardly disgraced on the all-weather, where we think he is best, but does go back to grass, where this son of Dubawi was a winner of four races from nine starts. He stayed on well on the all-weather, and thought him a placing chance there, but the favourite is a tough horse to go against.
The competition faced by #9 VERY NICE NAME has been soft, for the most part, in Qatar, but is ticking over in such good form that a placing at a monster price is not out of the question.
1st – #8 GENTILDONNA, 2nd – #6 ST NICHOLAS ABBEY, 3rd – #11 AWAIT THE DAWN